Friday, December 9, 2011

Stuffed Squash Bowls

I LOVE squash and I love the variety! These little guys come in many different colors, shapes, flavors, and textures. Squash can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It can be prepared sweet or savory, roasted, baked, steamed, mashed, or boiled. The best part though, (drumroll please); it serves as its own little bowl! For this particular recipe I chose acorn squash, because of its size and nutty flavor, and then I stuffed it with a delicious quinoa stuffing.

This is not the first time I have posted a recipe that uses winter squash and it probably won’t be the last. For this reason, I will keep the nutritional benefits of acorn squash to a minimum and direct you to “this” post for more detail. Overall, winter squash promotes optimal health. Due to its tremendous health benefits, we realize that this is not just another starchy vegetable. Winter squash contains anti-inflammatory benefits, antioxidants, and may even have the potential to regulate blood sugar.

Not only is winter squash a versatile veggie, and packed full of beneficial nutrients, but it can also keep for an incredible length of time – if stored properly. If you keep winter squash out of direct sunlight, and stored in a room or pantry that stays between 50-60°F, this vegetable can last up to six months. What this means to you? Get to your local farmers market, co-op, or whole-foods market and stock up!

1 acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
1 cup of quinoa, I chose to mix red and white but any color will work
1 bunch of kale, thick stem removed and julienned
1 can of black-eyed peas
2 ½ cups of vegetable stock/broth
2 tablespoons of EVOO
½ cup of dried cranberries
½ cup of chopped walnuts *optional
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the squash halves on a pan, drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast the squash in the oven for approximately 35-40 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.

While the squash is roasting, bring two cups of vegetable stock to a boil. Add the (rinsed) quinoa to the pot and bring back to a boil. Cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes (or until no liquid remains).

Pour the remaining ½ cup of vegetable stock to a deep skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the kale, black-eyed peas, and a sprinkle of sea salt; continue to simmer until the kale is wilted and all the liquid has evaporated.

Combine the quinoa, kale mixture, dried cranberries, and walnuts in a large bowl and mix evenly. Scoop the “stuffing” into the squash halves and serve!

Peace, love, and veggies!


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